Nick Jensen, St. Cloud State hockey star from Rogers, will give up his final year of eligibility after signing a deal with the Detroit Red Wings.
Jensen, a junior defenseman, was first-team All-America this year and WCHA Defenseman of the Year this season. The 5th-round draft pick of the Red Wings in 2009 signed a two-year entry-level contract Thursday.
“I didn’t rush and I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision for me,” Jensen told the St. Cloud Times. “I talked to a lot of people, including coach (Bob) Motzko, some of my friends and family and tried to wrap my head around things.”
A report on Western College Hockey Blog by Justin K. Aller stated:
“Jensen was outstanding this season for St. Cloud, scoring 4 goals and 27 assists for 31 points in 42 points, while logging huge minutes for the Huskies in all situations, helping lead the team to their first ever WCHA league title, and first ever Frozen Four appearance.
“Jensen is a smaller defenseman–generously listed at 6-1 and 193 pounds — but is incredibly quick on his feet, and is very poised with the puck. He’s not a very physical player, but plays the type of puck possession style that Detroit greatly values.”
Jensen will finish the school year.
“I did tell (the Red Wings) that I wanted to finish out my school year,” Jensen told the St. Cloud Times. “I’ve spent five months working on (this semester) and finals are next week.”
A finance major, he was twice named a WCHA Scholar-Athlete.
“It was a tough decision, leaving this group of guys I’ve been with for three years and I feel really close to them,” he told the Times. “Another big factor is that you can only have the college experience once. I can’t come back to this.”